huffing and puffing

Save30

After over 2 years without any trace there seems to be the start of some legal posturing over on the AuroraCitizen blog here:
http://auroracitizen.ca/2010/04/25/town-solicitor-demands-removal-of-blog-comments/#comment-4035

I’m not a lawyer, nor do I profess to be, but I do know several and they all agree that media and internet law in this country is outdated and has been going through some dramatic changes over the last 3 years.

To keep current with the events I don’t look to those in the law society, but professionals that operate to shape the laws through their experience within the technology landscape.

The first of which is Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.  His site is the go to website re: Technology, the web, copryright and all of their crossroads.

He has several postings regarding libel, you can read them here:
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/index.php?searchword=libel&x=0&y=0&option=com_search&Itemid=

The second is Jesse Hirsh. 

I attended University with Mr Hirsch, and I am not surprised to find that he is now a well known technology specialist with a nationally syndicated column on CBC radio explaining and analyzing the latest trends and developments in technology.

He has a wealth of info on his site regarding Canadian law and how it applies to the internet, one that is of most interest is this one questioning if the internet could ever be reclassified as broadcast media:  http://jessehirsh.com/internet-be-reclassified-broadcast-media

These two individuals present a significant wealth of jumping off points to other resources and sites.

Here are just a few worth looking at:

1.) The Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) lists legal cases in the United States in which bloggers have been sued for libel, privacy and related claims, or been subject to criminal investigations or prosecutions.

http://www.medialaw.org/bloggerlawsuits

2.) Digital Copyright Canada lists the same type of cases, but here in Canada.

http://www.digital-copyright.ca/taxonomy/term/394

3.) Canadian Blogs.net has a good repository of cases of internet libel both here at home and abroad.

http://www.canadianblogs.net/categories/libel/

4.) Citizen Media Law Project connects lawyers from across the country with online journalists and digital media creators who need legal help.

There is a fantastic response to a CNET piece titled “Bloggers beware: You’re liable to commit libel” ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-13555_3-9821584-34.html ) here: http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2007/sam-bayard/cnet-libel-and-user-generated-content

5.) Socialized is a consultancy that provides social media strategy, implementation and measurement for progressive companies and non-profit organizations.

The owner of this site, Joel Postman, is also the author of “SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate”

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0321580087?tag=socialized-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0321580087&adid=02HZR2VX0QGSP03SWJ44&

He has a great piece covering a CTV Canada story on Cyber Libel here:
http://www.socializedpr.com/ctv-canada-story-on-cyber-libel/

You can view the CTV clip online here: http://www.swo.ctv.ca/news.php?id=7072

After viewing all of this the only conclusion I can make regarding all the huffing and puffing over at the AuroraCitizen blog is a clear intent to cite some libel chill ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilling_effect_%28term%29).

It blows.

Just like those who chose to propagate it.

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